Manly United made to work for point
MANLY United had to dig deep to snatch a point in a 1-1 PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s draw against a gritty Hakoah Sydney City East FC on Saturday night at Cromer Park.
Warren Grieve’s squad have been hammered by injuries in recent weeks, but it didn’t excuse their first half performance – it was undoubtedly their worst of 2017.
The early signs were good – on four minutes they almost took the lead.
Sasa Macura burst into the area and unleashed an effort which flashed by the far post.
The away side fired off a warning shot with 17 minutes on the clock.
Manly had their goalkeeper Dylan Mitchell to thank, with the alert shot stopper saving an effort from point blank range.
On 20 minutes Hakoah took the lead.
Striker Anthony Frangie picked his spot on the run before drilling an effort past Mitchell.
Midway through the half Hakoah almost doubled their advantage.
A loose ball fell at the feet of Dean Bereveskos, who effort flew just wide of the target.
35 minutes in Bereveskos should have scored after great build up from Jack Green, but the Hakoah winger again slashed his effort wide.
Grieve gave his Manly team a huge rocket at halftime and it worked a treat, with the hosts much better in the second stanza.
Brendan Cholakian went close after 47 minutes and moments later Nikola Taneski forced Hakoah gloveman Anthony Bouzanis into a reaction save.
United continued to press and on 61 minutes got their deserved equaliser.
Scott Balderson created space down the left before delivering an inch perfect ball for Taneski, who couldn’t miss from six yards.
With 70 minutes gone Balderson almost grabbed his second goal.
His rocket volley from a corner appeared destined to find the back of the net, only to see his effort accidentally blocked by teammate Travis Oughtred.
Hakoah eventually woke from their slumber and had decent chances on 72 and 77 minutes via Frangie, who should have done better.
It could have been game changing, with Manly attacking ace Cholakian hitting the post seconds later after a great ball from Sam Wilson.
The away side from Sydney’s east cleared their bench chasing a late winner, but it proved to be in vain, with a draw the end result.
Manly skipper Jamie Lobb admitted it was a poor start from his team.
“We needed the three points, but weren’t good enough,” he said.
“Hakoah are hard to break down and we didn’t execute our game plan.
“We looked flat which was weird, we trained well all week.
“Second half we were better which was pleasing – we have to start games better, simple as that.”
Hakoah’s Jack Green, who was a junior at Manly United, also felt his team dropped two points.
“First half we played well but then Manly got on top in the second half,” he said.
“We had chances to win, but didn’t take them.
“The next few weeks we have some very tough games, so just need to keep pushing on.”
Manly United 1 (Nikola Taneski 62′)
Hakoah Sydney City East 1 (Anthony Frangie 20′)
Cromer Park, Cromer
Saturday May 20, 2017
Assistant referees: J.Tesoriero, M.McOrist
Fourth official: A.Brett
Manly United: 1.Dylan MITCHELL, 13.Scott BALDERSON, (16.Sipan BERTI 71′) 10.Brendan CHOLAKIAN, 12.Leigh EGGER, (2.Kieren PAULL 67′) 6.Dom FERGUSON, 3.Jamie LOBB, 8.Sasa MACURA, (28.Mitchell ROOKE 53′) 4.Travis OUGHTRED, 19.Daniel SARIC, 11.Nikola TANESKI, 17.Sam WILSON
Substitutes not used:15.Hamish GALBRAITH, 20.Shaun CATLIN
Yellow cards: Balderson 24′, Rooke 88′
Red cards: Nil
Hakoah Sydney City East: 1.Anthony BOUZANIS, 15.Dean BEREVESKOS, 10.Andre DE JONG, 6.Cameron DRAPER, 42.Anthony FRANGIE, (7.Alek LEKOSKI 85′) 4.Jack GREEN, 33.Oliver GREEN, (8.Paul ORGAD 86′) 11.Jordan MUNDELL, 31.Gavin RAE, 38.Connor SHADDOCK, 17.Gideon SWEET
Substitutes not used: N/A
Yellow cards: Sweet 81′
Red cards: Nil